Remake of Gambit doesn’t live up to expectations

Staff Writer

The remake of the 1966 Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine caper “Gambit,” released in 2012, did not receive a big American release despite it’s all-star cast including Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, and Cameron Diaz.

The combined efforts of all three actors could not save this movie, however. Joel and Ethan Coen’s script lacked development and spark, and Director Michael Hoffman didn’t quite pull off all the aspects of sophisticated comedy that the original movie mustered.

The original film follows con man Harry Dean (Caine) in his endeavor to steal a priceless statue from the world’s richest man. Harry is assisted by a European showgirl Nicole Chang (MacLaine). In the reboot, Harry Deane (Firth) is a London art curator hoping to get revenge on his jerk of a boss Lionel Shahbandar (Rickman) by presenting him with a forged Monet painting. Harry gets Texas rodeo queen P.J. Puznowski to pose as the owner of the priceless Monet.

Unlike the widely popular original heist film, the remake was seriously lacking in surprises and genuine laughs. The highlights–and seriously questionable scenes–of the film include a dog-riding, cowboy monkey (lasso and all), a cat shaved to look like a lion that actually tranforms into a lion later on in the film, and Alan Rickman naked more than once for no particular reason.

Diespite his character’s odd desire to take off all his clothes whenever possible, Rickman’s performance is smooth as always–he perfectly captures the eccentric, rude essence of a London highroller.

Firth solidly portrays a debonaire man always adorned with a tailored suit and rectangular glasses. Firth can do no wrong, and his character is one of the shining stars of this movie.

Diaz’ portayal as a cowgirl begins innocent enough, but her southern drawl becomes more and more irritating as the movie goes on.

The movie’s predictable nature makes it a little too boring for the big screen. The heist itself seems too goofy and undeveloped.

There is too much going on throughout the movie, but at the same time the plot was dull and lackluster. Overall, the film is not too terribly bad, but it is also not good either. It remains quite bland and lacking, and it leaves a sense of disappointment when the credits begin to role.

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